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It's my party, and I'll die if I want to, Sugar
from the Rainbow aphorism series 1994

computer generated colour laserprint
38.0 × 28.6 cm (image) 38.8 × 29.3 cm (sheet)
Accession Number
Australian Prints / Australian Prints & Drawings
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1994
© David McDiarmid/Licensed by VISCOY, Sydney
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

McDiarmid's candy-coloured laser prints consider the bitter-sweet essence of life for many gay men in the 1990s. The texts employ a 'joke' sensationalism expressing shocking humour, anger and frustrated despair. Over the pure colours of the rainbow, itself a gay icon, lollypop texts spell out acid-tongued truths.

McDiarmid's rainbow text panels consider the extreme emotional swings experienced by HIV-positive gay men. They also convey his personal response, as an HIV-positive artist, to the epidemic. Through their humour they open up a dialogue about the emotional and political issues that shape the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.

McDiarmid has said, ‘My priority as an artist has always been to record and celebrate our lives. To bang the tribal drums of the jungle telegraph.’